Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Welcome, Judith Sterling!

Please welcome my fellow Wild Rose Press author, Judith Sterling! 

Inspiration for My Hero and Heroine

            There’s a lot of me in my hero and heroine, Griffin Nightshade and Margaret, Lady Ravenwood. He’s loyal and teaches history. She’s intuitive and has “spirit journeys” while sleeping. Both have perfect pitch. The same is true of me, on all counts. But I didn’t realize how closely my characters resembled my parents until I finished the manuscript.

            Maybe I didn’t want to see the parallel. After all, the book has sex scenes, and most of us cringe when we think of our parents doing the horizontal mambo. Of course, if they hadn’t done it, we wouldn’t be here, but you know what I mean!

            Like Griffin, my dad was a concert pianist. (Yes, he has perfect pitch too. That’s where I get it from!) He met my mom in college, when she sang professionally on the side of her studies. The two of them performed in USO tours overseas and for TV on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Mike Douglas Show. So naturally, my character Margaret can sing. Margaret also has strong intuition and loves gardening, just like my mom.

            Perhaps the strongest similarity between my protagonists and my parents is the soulful, abiding love they share. The latter have been married for 55 years, and they’re still in love. Neither knows how they’d survive without the other, although they’re so strong, I know they would. I feel privileged to have had them as role models. Because of them, I married late (at age thirty-two), for I’d accept nothing less than a true soulmate. Is it any wonder they served as inspiration for my story?

Return of the Raven (The Novels of Ravenwood, Book Five)

By Judith Sterling


Book Blurb

Margaret, Lady Ravenwood, is trapped in a loveless marriage and firmly entrenched in the medieval world. Along comes Griffin Nightshade, a historian from the future whose soul resonates with hers. He persuades her to return with him to the 1950s, but heeding her heart means courting danger from a curse that could spell her doom.

Haunted by his parents' sudden deaths, Griffin knows all too well the pain born of love lost. He guards his emotions, but Margaret delves deep and goes straight to the soul. She's hard to resist…and harder to set free.

The heart's desire and history's demands don't always agree. Yet true love is eternal.



Dressed in blue-striped pajamas, Griffin stood in front of his bed. His gaze shifted back and forth between two books. Usually, he was a decisive reader, but tonight was different. He’d had Margaret on the mind the entire time he perused the library shelves, and even now, the sound of her bathwater filling the tub next door plagued his focus.

Nevertheless, he’d narrowed the choice to two books: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles or Dennis Wheatley’s The Devil Rides Out. He’d read both before and enjoyed them immensely, so he couldn’t go wrong with either one.

So what’s it going to be? Murder on the moors or black magic on Salisbury Plain?

Margaret’s clear-toned voice penetrated the wall between their bedrooms. She was humming the first part of the sonata he’d played tonight. Not only did she have an ear for language; she also had one for music. She had perfect pitch, too, as did he, which allowed him to discern that she hummed the exact same notes he’d played on the Steinway. Her singing voice was just as lovely as he’d imagined it might be.

His brow furrowed. He had no business imagining anything about her, least of all her naked body slipping into a warm bath and—

Stop! He huffed and rubbed his mouth with his hand. Then he refocused his attention on the books for the umpteenth time. Come on now. Murder or magic? Magic or murder?

“Griff!” A note of panic tinged her voice.

Meg! In trouble!

He dashed into the hall and into her bedroom, then flung open the bathroom door. She stood in the bathtub, clad in bubbles whose brethren spilled over the side of the tub onto the floor. Luckily, the white foam covered all but her neck, head, and one shoulder.

“There’s too much of it.” She gestured to the mess and sent a cluster of bubbles flying through the air.

“I can see that. Are you hurt?”

“No, just unnerved. They kept building and building until I feared they might cover the entire chamber.”

“First, let’s turn off the water.” He reached into the sea of foam, found the faucets, and twisted each one in turn. “How much of the soapy liquid did you use?”

“The whole bottle.”

His eyes widened. “Well, that explains it. Only a small amount is necessary.”

“When Hannah showed me how to use it, she simply turned the bottle upside down to demonstrate pouring. I assumed all of the liquid was needed.” With a rueful expression, she looked around her. “Obviously not.”

She was adorable. And underneath those bubbles, she was nude. Time to go!

“Well, I’m glad ʼtwas nothing serious. I’ll just be going now.” With an about face, he headed for the door.


Uh oh. What does she want now? He turned back around.

“I must know something, and you’re the only one who can help me know it.”

A warning bell pealed in his mind and urged his heart to quicken its pace. “What do you want to know?”

“Earlier, you called me attractive, but you haven’t seen all of me.”

Only by the grace of those bubbles! Did she intend to bare all? No…modesty would prevent that. But the look in her eye—that steady gleam of determination—made him nervous. “Surely you don’t mean—”

“I do. All of my married life, Evoric has mocked me and deemed me unappealing.”

“To him mayhap.” Or eunuchs. Otherwise…

Adamantly, she shook her head. “To all men. Or so he says.”

He is such a sleaze. “He’s just trying to make excuses for his own failure.”

“That may be, but I’ll never know for certain unless you look upon me yourself and give me your honest opinion.”

Dear God. How did I get myself into this mess? “I really think ʼtis better if—”

“Griff.” Her violet eyes pleaded with him. “I know I’ve asked a lot from you, but I need this. Otherwise, I’ll wonder about it the rest of my life.”

How could he deny her the chance to rebuild her self-confidence? He took a deep breath, pushed it out, and braced for what would come. “Very well. Show yourself to me.”


Buy Links


Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

Barnes & Noble


Author Bio

Judith Sterling is an award-winning author whose love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Whether penning medieval romance (The Novels of Ravenwood) or young adult paranormal fantasy (the Guardians of Erin series), her favorite themes include true love, destiny, time travel, healing, redemption, and finding the hidden magic which exists all around us. She loves to share that magic with readers and whisk them far away from their troubles, particularly to locations in the British Isles.

Her nonfiction books, written under Judith Marshall, have been translated into multiple languages. She has an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and their identical twin sons.


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  1. Thanks so much for having me back, Jennifer. It's always a pleasure to be on your blog!

  2. Oh, I loved reading about your inspiration and your parents, Judith! So beautiful... Wishing you continued success!

    1. Thanks so much, Mary! My parents have been through so much together, and I'm glad I can honor them in this way.

  3. How cool to have perfect pitch! (I sing only in a crowd--or alone!) Nice interview!

    1. Thanks so much, Darlene! I don't think either of my twin boys have inherited the trait, but it's nice to share it with my dad.

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  5. What a beautiful story of your parents, Judith. And how lucky you are to have that perfect pitch. My musical pitch is like my softball pitch, wide to the outside--or inside :) Best of luck with your new book.

  6. LOL! It can't be that bad! Thanks so much for your kind words and support, Barbara.